Ladies come close

Foot­ballers must re­group ahead of Leitrim encounter

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - PAT DUNNE at Dunlavin


WICK­LOW put in a spir­ited per­for­mance against Tip­per­ary in Round 3 of the All-Ire­land In­ter­me­di­ate ladies foot­ball cham­pi­onship in Dunlavin last Sun­day af­ter­noon.

A win or draw was re­quired for the Wick­low ladies to keep them in the In­ter­me­di­ate ranks. Con­di­tions were ideal for foot­ball and Dunlavin GAA had their fa­cil­i­ties in tip top con­di­tion.

Wick­low led at half-time by a soli­tary point and were level go­ing into the fi­nal ten min­utes, how­ever, the in­tro­duc­tion of the in­dus­tri­ous Aish­ling Moloney swung the pen­du­lum back in favour of the Pre­mier County side.

Throw in was de­layed as the ref­eree had slept it out and the fourth of­fi­cial was then al­lo­cated the whis­tle as the Wick­low del­e­gates went in search of um­pires to com­mence the game.

Full-for­ward Laura Ho­gan pointed in the sec­ond minute to get James Kelly’s side up and run­ning.

An Orla O’Dwyer shot was bril­liantly saved by goalie Me­gan Dunne with Tip­per­ary’s first at­tack mo­ments later. Laura Dil­lon lev­elled the game be­fore mid­fielder Sarah De­lahunt and wing for­ward Jackie Kinch both pointed to re­store the lead.

In the fol­low­ing four min­utes Wick­low con­ceded a cru­cial 1-4 without re­ply, the goal com­ing from rushed kick-out that was in­ter­cepted by the alert Laura Dil­lon who put Orla O’Dwyer clean through to finsh to the net. Dil­lon her­self tapped over a brace of pointed frees.

Marie Kealy stead­ied the ship with a beast of a point be­fore Jessica Nolan Byrne laid off to the on-run­ning Mead­hbh Deeney who shook the back of the Tipp net to level pro­ceed­ings at 1-4 apiece with 20 min­utes played.

Laura Ho­gan blazed a glou­ri­ous goal chance wide for Wick­low when clean through and the home side were pun­ished when Dil­lon re­stored the lead with a well-taken point.

Back came Wick­low with a great pas­sage of play started by Deeney who laid off to Ho­gan who found Kealy with a sublime pass and Kealy dis­patched the ball high into the roof of the net as Wi­clow rocked their op­po­nents to the core.

Kealy pointed an­other placed ball and should have added an­other ma­jor, but she dragged her ef­fort the wrong side of the up­right.

Tip­per­ary added a brace of points as the half-time whis­tle sounded to leave the score 2-5 to 1-7 at the break.

A blis­ter­ing move started by Jackie Kinch ended with Deeney fir­ing over a point for the Wick­low girls on the restart.

Tip­per­ary re­sponded with a sucker goal from the boot of An­gela McGuigan to re­store the lead once again. Laura Dil­lon had the ball in the Wick­low net again from a 13m free, how­ever the ref­eree deemed that she took the free in­side the 13m line and chalked it off.

Dil­lon pushed the gap out to two but could not shake of a dogged Wick­low out­fit. Aoife Gillen won a ter­rific turn over in the half back line and fed Jackie Kinch, who made a dash­ing run up the park and was fouled; Laura Ho­gan pointed the re­sul­tant free kick to leave the min­i­mum in it again go­ing into the fi­nal quar­ter.

A brace of Ho­gan pointed frees re­stored the lead for Wick­low as the ac­tion was up and down a beau­ti­fully man­i­cured pitch.

Caoimhe Condon re­stored parity for the Tipp ladies be­fore Mead­hbh Deeney put the Wick­low girls a point to the fore in this ti­tanic see-saw encounter.

With the game in the bal­ance, Tip­per­ary in­tro­duced the highly in­flu­en­tial Aish­ling Moloney to the bat­tle. Ava Fen­nessey re­stored parity at 2-10 apiece, once again in this epic bat­tle as ei­ther side wouldn’t yield.

Aish­ling Mc­Carthy pointed for Tip­per­ary af­ter tro­jan work by Aish­ling Moloney, who was a thorn in Wick­low’s de­fence in the clos­ing stages of the game. Moloney her­self pointed be­fore a Ho­gan goal­bound shot was blocked bril­liantly by Sa­man­tha Lam­bert

from cross­ing the goal-line.

Tipp rose an­other white flag go­ing into the fi­nal five min­utes be­fore the clin­i­cal Moloney cut clean through and landed Tipp’s third ma­jor, now lead­ing by six points. Wick­low would not lie down and ral­lied again with a Marie Keay point, that was quickly fol­lowed up by a sen­sa­tional lob by Deeney for Wick­low’s third ma­jor.

How­ever, it was Tip­per­ary who fin­ished the stronger with a brace of points and a for­tu­itous goal that was bril­lianty saved by Dunne ini­tially, but the re­bound fell to Anna Carey who found the net with the fi­nal play of the game.

Tip­per­ary, one of the favourites progress to the lat­ter stages of the se­ries, while Wick­low will have to re­group as they now will have to play Leitrim in a rel­e­ga­tion match on Au­gust 11.

Scor­ers - Wick­low: Mead­hbh Deeney 2-2, Marie Kealy 1-2, Laura Ho­gan 0-5 (4f), Amy Mur­phy

0-1, Sarah De­lahunt 0-1, Jackie Kinch 0-1.

Tip­per­ary: Aish­ling Moloney 1-3, Laura Dil­lon 0-6 (3f), Anna Carey 1-0, Orla O’Dwyer 1-0, An­gela McGuigan 1-0, Aisling Mc­Carthy 0-3, Elaine Fitz­patrick 0-2, Orla Win­ston 0-1, Caoimhe Condon 0-1, Ava Fen­nessey 0-1.

WICK­LOW: Me­gan Dunne (St Pats); Aine Byrne (Ti­na­hely), Sarah Jane Win­ders (Balt­in­glass), Aoife Gillen (Bray); Lorna Fus­cardi (Foxrock), Aimee Ma­her (Ti­na­hely), Tara Dowl­ing Costello (Clan na Gael); Aoife Gor­man (Ti­na­hely), Sarah De­lahunt (St Pats); Jackie Kinch (Ti­na­hely), Jessica Nolan Byrne (Ti­na­hely), Mead­hbh Deeney (Thomas Davis); Marie Kealy (Balt­in­glass), Laura Ho­gan (Ti­na­hely), Amy Mur­phy (An Tochar). TIP­PER­ARY: Lau­ren Fitz­patrick; Ni­amh Martin, Emma Buck­ley, Emma Cronin; Brid Condon, Sa­man­tha Lam­bert, Caitlin Kennedy; Roisin Daly, Elaine Fitz­patrick; Ni­amh Lone­gran, Emma Mor­ris­sey, Katie Cun­ning­ham; Caoimhe Condon, An­gela McGuigan, Orla O’Dwyer. Subs: Ava Fen­nessey, Aish­ling Moloney, Orla Win­ston. REF­EREE: Des McEn­ery (West­meath)

Wick­low’s Amy Mur­phy looks to go past Tip­per­ary’s Maria Cur­ley in Dunlavin.

Pho­tos: Joe Byrne

Wick­low’s Laura Ho­gan gets her shot away de­spite the at­ten­tions of Tip­per­ary’s Emma Cronin.

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